Ash from Cuban Cigars: Essential Tips to know
QUALITY TOBACCO LEAVES. GOOD CONSTRUCTION. MINERAL RICH SOIL
The ash from Cuban Cigars can reveal many facets. Here we explain what to inspect and why the ash is crucial, so you can fully enjoy your smoke.
CHECK THE COLOUR – All the greatest Cuban cigar brands, Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas Cigars for instance, source their tobacco from Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo region. This is considered the greatest land with a mix of perfect humidity and soil. Tobacco here contains numerous minerals in equal measure, and that can create a light grey colour when a cigar starts to burn. Traditionally, if a Cuban cigar had white ash, the whiter it would be, the longer it would have been aged. This is changing however, as many new tobacco varieties used in Cuba, are creating a snow white colour. The trend for wanting strong white ash developed in the 90s, when it became known that white ash can demonstrate mineral-rich soil. Black ash therefore, is not a good sign. It often shows a lack of minerals in the soil and can create an undesirable scent.
Montecristo Linea 1935 Maltes Cigar
"torcedores will densely pack tobacco leaves"
REVIEW THE CONSTRUCTION – Poor rolling technique and weak wrapper leaves can lead to ash falling off a cigar very easily and cause an uneven burn. Cuban torcedores are like artists, the finest in the world, which is one of the many reasons why habanos are considered the best. We spoke about some of their rolling techniques on our post about Different Ways to Make a Cigar. A genuine Cuban shouldn’t have any issues with ash crumbling. Great torcedores will densely pack tobacco leaves and place the leaves turning in towards each other to ensure the ash will be firm. What Can the Ash of a Cigar Tell You, is a piece which further explores this topic and looks at the different types of ash shapes. At the beginning of your cigar smoking, check how regular the ‘rings’ of ash develop throughout the smoke – another key indicator of good or bad construction.
Top Left: Montecristo Ashtray, Top Right: H. Upmann Reserva Ashtray
"Machine manufacturing never produces the same quality"
LOOK AT THE LENGTH – Ash should ideally be one inch long before it’s ready to fall off, though occasionally it may be longer. Cigar leaves too short and torn, usually won’t stay together to reach this ideal. High-quality leaves will ensure ash is even and secure. Machine manufacturing never produces the same quality, which is why cigarette ash tends to be brittle. Handmade Cuban cigars meanwhile, have an incredible fermenting, rolling and ageing process. If you are an aficionado who appreciates ash that’s robust, we suggest choosing a cigar with a thicker ring gauge. The Montecristo Linea 1935 Maltes Cigar is perfect. With long-filler tobacco leaves and a 53 ring gauge, the ash is crafted exquisitely. Another opulent option is selecting a highly in demand Cohiba Behike – perhaps a Cohiba Behike 54 Cigar. An extra rare leaf is added to the tobacco blend and with a 54 ring gauge by 144mm length, it’s a truly marvellous delight.
BE MINDFUL OF ETIQUETTE – For new smokers, it’s important to take your time. In our must-read guide: Cigar Smoking: The Ultimate Dos and Don’ts, we shared the tip to not stump out your ash. As much as cigar connoisseurs are huge admirers of cigar ash, nobody wants someone else’s to splash across a table. It is viewed as poor-form and bad etiquette. Simply roll your cigar ash gently on an ashtray, or tap delicately. And for your cigar ash-tray, we have the finest selection to pair with our Cuban Cigars online. From a H. Upmann Reserva Ashtray, to a Montecristo Ashtray – they are sure to stand out and make a wonderful impression.